Can Christians Celebrate Hanukkah?

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, began Sunday, a holiday which starts on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev and lasts for eight days.

In the Gregorian calendar it begins December 2 and concludes December 10 in 2018.

Hanukkah is also known as the Feast of Dedication, and while it is not written about in the Old Testament, it was an observance Jesus took part in during his earthly life.

“At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon,” John 10:22-23 recounts.

The holiday is fundamentally about the miracle of God being with the Jewish people during a time of great hardship and persecution, according to Dr. Michael Brown, a Messianic Jewish scholar and host of the Line of Fire, in a 2017 video explaining the meaning of the holiday.

Hanukkah was not a biblical holiday per se in the sense that it was ordained by God in the Torah, but it was something regularly celebrated by the time Jesus showed up on the scene. Many Messianic Jews still celebrate Hanukkah as opposed to Christmas, and mark the birth of Jesus at other times in other ways, Brown noted.

Historically speaking, the holiday commemorates the acts of the pre-Jesus Jewish Maccabees, who defeated a Syrian army that had left the Jewish temple defiled.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter